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Gearbox lowers the load

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article image Each gearbox and motor unit weighs more than 51,200kg.

THE Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile is using Keller gearboxes in an application considered the largest of its type anywhere in the world for bevel-helical conveyor gear units.

Working closely with project consultants Bechtel USA to ultimately supply Krupp Canada Inc, the scope of Keller's manufacture included nine 2500kW bevel-helical drives to run the mine's overland conveyor system - located at a site 3,000m above sea level.

"With each gearbox and motor unit weighing more than 51,200kg, the massive undertaking for this project in a difficult terrain is quite apparent," Ron Warman of PT Link Sales , Keller's representative in the Asia Pacific region, said.

"With nominal power rating of 2500kW, each unit is expected to be working at a nominal 520,000Nm torque.

"Every unit encompasses double foot-mounted gearbox housings for universal installation, complex collecting and piping systems to lubricate gears and bearings, contactless shaft seals, and low noise transmission through rigid housing and gear component design."

Engaging three conveyors that run downhill through a tunnel system within the Andes Mountains, the structure travels an overall length of 12,700m, with the longest conveyor travelling for 5,630m.

Because the entire system drops in elevation by 1,300m from loading point to discharge point, it utilises the drop in a regenerative mode when the conveyor is fully loaded.

This allows a total of 25,000kW to be generated when the conveyor is running at full capacity of 8,700m/h and the energy created is fed into the main power grid for general usage.

Keller gears, through an alliance with Carr Gear Company in Melbourne, support a complete service capability including installation, commissioning, and gearbox maintenance management.

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